• Published 12th Jul 2015
  • 410 Views, 13 Comments

Culling a Bad Branch - Goat Licker

Derpy just can't understand why her daugthers won't acknowledge her as their mother. Maybe Twilight Sparkle can help.

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Culling a Bad Branch

Dinky’s hooves tread lightly on the leaves blanketing the floor of the Whitetail Woods, but still the crinkling sounds of dead leaves wouldn’t stop. Every step she took stabbed the air and swirled around the darkening woods like a beacon.

She was breathing heavily, struggling to keep her mouth closed so loud pants wouldn’t give her away. She dashed behind a tree, eyes darting back and forth, trying to find the exit from these awful woods.

She stopped moving, but the leaves still crinkled.

Dinky’s eyes widened as she held her breath in fear, pushing her body against the tree as if trying to become part of it, anything to hide from what was after her. The crinkling stopped, and Dinky’s hair stood on end, electrified, as fear darted through her. I gotta run, she thought, I gotta run, I gotta run

Something snapped behind her.

Dinky launched herself from the tree, hitting the dangerous open pathway, tears squeezing from her eyes. She knew being out in the open like this was dangerous, but this path was the quickest way out of the woods, and she had to take that risk. She had to get out soon, because darkness was falling, and the only way she’d be able to see her way out was by using the light of her horn–a dangerous thing to do.

“Dinky?” echoed through the woods.

“Mom!” Dinky shouted in panic, tears now streaming down her cheeks. There was the exit to Ponyville, and she could have sworn she saw her sister milling around the entrance.

A fluttering like a hurricane and Derpy landed on the path, all smiles, as she greeted Dinky.

“Hi, Dinky!”

Dinky screamed, violently stopping in her tracks, her desperately backpedaling hooves throwing up clods of dead leaves and dust.

“It’s okay Dinky, momma’s here,” Derpy said, taking a step forward.

“Stay away!” Dinky shouted, as tears gushed down her cheeks. “Mom! Help!”

Derpy’s face twisted into hurt. “Let me help you,” Derpy said. “Why don’t you recognize me?”

A burst of leaves and twigs slapped into Derpy’s coat, stinging her sides and making her wince in pain. Shades of pink and purple flashed, as Amethyst Star grabbed Dinky with her magic and carried her on her back, rushing down the path, her hooves blasting up dead leaves in a whirlwind of red and brown.
Derpy sniffed and wiped her eyes. “Why are they being mean to me?” she said. She took to the air with a flap, and followed Dinky and her sister out of the woods.

Amethyst Star rocketed out of Whitetail Woods into Ponyville proper, rushing toward Ruby Time’s restaurant. Dinky had her hooves tightly wrapped around her sister’s neck, and Amethyst could feel Dinky’s body shaking. Don’t let her be in shock, Amethyst thought.

“Dinky, can you hear me?”

“Y-yes,” Dinky said.

“Are you hurt?”

“No,” Dinky said, the word singing a note of tear-choked fear.

“I’m taking you to mom, then. Hold on!”

Amethyst Star drifted into an alley, and continued on to the rear entrance of Ruby Time’s restaurant. Her mother’s old wooden cart, dark and weathered, was parked at the opened door, and she saw Golden Harvest stepping out to grab the last batch of carrots.

“Mom!” Amethyst shouted, and Golden Harvest raised her head.

“Aims!” Golden Harvest said, as she trotted toward her daughters. “Dinky! What’s wrong?”

“It’s Derpy again,” Amethyst Star said with a growl. Dinky gauged the jump and leapt off of Amethyst Star’s back, running toward her mother, tears trailing behind her like stardust. Golden Harvest sat on her haunches and held out her forelegs, and Dinky leapt into them.

“I’m getting Princess Twilight,” Amethyst said, shooting a look at the castle towering over the Ponyville skyline. “I’ve had enough of this.” She took off with a leap and ran toward the castle.

Golden Harvest soothed Dinky with motherly whispers and gentle strokes of her hoof through Dinky’s coat. Ruby Time herself and an employee came out to see the commotion. Ruby made motions to her underling, who complied by grabbing the last batch of carrots off the old wagon. Ruby stayed near the door, keeping Golden Harvest in her peripheral vision while maintaining a respectful silence.

Shorty there was a whirl of dust from flapping wings, and Derpy landed in front of Golden Harvest.

“Is Dinky okay?” Derpy asked, and Dinky squealed at the hated voice, and Golden Harvest made calming shushing sounds.

“She’s scared, Muffins,” Golden Harvest said. That’s why Goldie’s my best friend, Derpy thought. She’s the only one who calls me by my real name. She’s not a meanie like everyone else.

Flashes of childhood passed in front of Derpy’s thoughts, of mean bullies who chose the most obvious physical aspect–her broken eyes–and, thinking themselves clever, giving her that awful name.

“She’ll be okay though,” Golden Harvest said.

Derpy smiled at the news, but quickly frowned. She pawed at the dusty cobblestone path, her head bobbing in thought. “Why doesn’t she know I’m her mother, though?” Derpy said. “I don’t understand.”

“You have to think hard about this,” Golden Harvest said. “She’s my daughter. You never gave birth to her.”

“B-but Goldie, that’s not true!” Derpy said with a stomp. “I know she’s mine! I remember when she was born.” Derpy sat on her haunches, pressing her forehooves into the lower part of her stomach. “There’s a line here,” Derpy said. “Where they had to cut her out.”

“Oh, Muffins,” Golden said, her face covered with a sheen of sadness. “That’s not what happened.”

“But, but I remember!” Derpy said, pained.

“Amethyst Star is Dinky’s sister,” Golden Harvest said. “Wouldn't she be your daughter too?”

Derpy winced, shaking her head in painful memories. “They took her out too,” Derpy said. “But she hates me. It makes me sad, but I have to leave her alone. I don't want her to hate me anymore than she does.”

Golden Harvest held Dinky close, patting her head with her hoof. She watched Derpy, not hiding the pity she had on her face.

“I know what really happened,” Derpy said, staring at the ground, and Golden Harvest’s hackles rose at the darkness in her voice. Ruby Time jerked her head toward Derpy, and stepped into the street, not taking her gaze away from Derpy.

“It’s because I’m a dummy,” Derpy said. “They didn’t want a dummy being a mom to foals, like Amethyst Star and Dinky, so they took them from me and gave them to you.”

Derpy lifted her head, her pained expression gone now, her face only neutral as eyes, too shallow, seemed to look past Golden Harvest and even Ponyville, towards some awful horizon that only Derpy could see. “It’s okay. I'm glad you're their mommy, because you're a better mommy than I can ever be to them. They have the best mommy-”

A sob escaped from Derpy’s chest, and she gritted her teeth in sadness and anger, staring straight at Golden Harvest. “But why do you have to lie!”

Golden Harvest pushed Dinky behind her. Golden lowered her trembling face, her eyes not leaving Derpy while Ruby Time, frowning, trotted forward to put Dinky further behind them.

“Muffins,” Golden Harvest said, “I’m begging you-”

“Why do you have to lie!” Derpy shouted, taking a step forward. “Why do you have to lie, huh? You’re supposed to be my best friend!” Golden Harvest’s head jerked back in surprise. “Why do you have to lie to them! Tell them the truth!”

Derpy prepared to lunge, but magic grabbed her hooves and held them firm.

“Get away from them!” Amethyst Star shouted, her coat shiny with sweat due to her running. She lunged past Derpy and turned around, her horn as bright as her anger. “Don't you get it? You aren't our mother!”

A gentle breeze drifted past the ponies faces as wings pushed the sweet night air. Twilight Sparkle landed in between Derpy and the other ponies. Golden Harvest and Ruby Time relaxed, both bowing (though with eyes open). Ruby Time patted Golden Harvest on her haunches, nodded, and headed back to her restaurant. Everything was under control now.

“Wow,” Derpy said, as a smile drifted across her face. Princess Twilight is just so pretty and neat and cool.

“Amethyst, you can let her go now,” Twilight said.

Derpy’s hooves were set free as Amethyst Star’s horn dissipated its magic. A bead of sweat fell down her face, flowing across her muzzle.

“Don’t you see, princess?” Amethyst shouted. Behind her, Golden Harvest’s ears flattened as her jaw dropped. She’d never expect her daughter to talk to Princess Twilight like that. “Didn’t see what she was about to do?”

Twilight inhaled, and nodded. “I saw.”

“That imbecile is going to hurt my family, don’t you understand? You and Time Turner need to stop playing around and do something! I’m tired of it!”

“What do you even mean?” Derpy said.

Twilight turned to her and forced a smile. “Its okay, Derpy. I’ll try to fix this,” and Derpy grinned.

“Yes, you will fix this!” Amethyst said.

“Aims, please!” Golden Harvest said in a hushed voice. “Watch your tone!”

“She should have been taken to an E.C. a long time ago! When are you going to do the right thing?”

“Amethyst,” Twilight said, concern entering her face. “Please believe me, I’m truly sorry about what happened.”

Amethyst seemed to suddenly realize she was talking to royalty, and cowered, though her angry eyes did not try to hide from Twilight’s gaze. Golden Harvest moved closer, pressing her body against her daughter’s in a supportive gesture. Dinky walked forward and hid behind her mother.

“I truly apologize for what has happened to your family. I assure you that,” and Twilght’s caring voice stuttered, and her wings drooped. “I’ll make sure this won’t happen again. You have my word.”

“Thank you princess,” Amethyst said. She sighed, and bowed. “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”

“Think nothing of it,” Twilight said with a smile. “I’m glad you’re so open with me. It means a lot.”

For the first time that night, Amethyst smiled.

Twilight turned to Derpy and whispered, “Come with me. I might be able to help you.”

Evening was approaching, but Derpy’s pegasus vision allowed her to follow Twilight to wherever she was going.

“Twilight, why can’t we just fly?”

“It’s usually not a good idea to fly into the Everfree Forest,” Twilight said. “It attracts too much attention.”

Derpy wilted, lowering her ears and her head in a submissive posture. “Everfree forest? Why are we going there?”

“I’ll… I’ll tell you when we get there.”

“Why not tell me now?”

“Because it needs to be private,” Twilight said. “Just trust me, Derpy.”

That was all Derpy needed to hear. Twilight was always so nice to her, always so patient–her and Doc–that Derpy appreciated her with her whole heart. If Twilight said to trust her, then that was that.

Derpy smiled as warmth flooded her. “I do trust you, Twilight,” Derpy said. “You’re always so nice to me.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said. Derpy was following behind Twilight, and couldn’t see her expression, but that wording–it seemed flat. Maybe she’s tired, Derpy thought.

They entered the lip of the Everfree, and Derpy huddled close, constantly looking through trees with branches like claws, and trunks like giant legs ready to lift and stomp. That Twilight sauntered into the forest with no fear did a lot to calm Derpy, but it still made her uncomfortable to cross into such a magically chaotic forest. They walked on a path created through decades of use from timberwolves. Some of their magic detritus, twigs and limbs, were scattered to the side.

When they could no longer see Ponyville, Twilight turned and faced Derpy. Wow, she looks tired, Derpy thought.

“Derpy, I have something to tell you,” Twilight said. “Please stay here, and don’t run off when I tell you. Can you do that for me? We need to fix this.”

“I can do that,” Derpy said, sitting down on the flattened grass with a thump.

Twilight swallowed. “You are Dinky and Amethyst’s mother.”

Derpy gasped in joy, jumping up on all fours. “I knew it!” she said. “I need to go tell them now,” and she took to the air.

“Derpy!” Twilight said, using her magic to grab Derpy’s tail. “Calm down, we'll get to that. Don't worry!”

“Oh,” Derpy said, as she landed back on the path. Tears came to her eyes. “I’m so sorry, Twilight.” She sat down hard with a tearful sigh and hit the side of her head with her hoof. “Stupid! Stupid!” She blinked back tears. Why am I always messing up, she thought. And to Twilight, who’s so nice to me!

“It’s okay, Derpy,” Twilight said. “You just got excited, that’s all.”

Derpy smiled at the forgiveness she received, but frowned again. “But Twilight, how am I going to make them all know I’m their mom?”

“I’ll help with that,” Twilight said. “I’m going to cast a spell th–” Twilight choked as Derpy threw her forelegs around Twilight’s neck.

“Oh Twilight, thank you so much! You’re such a great princess!”

Twilight patted Derpy’s back, and when Derpy didn’t release her grip, purple magic tugged Derpy’s tail. Derpy got the idea and released Twilight.

Twilight coughed. “You’re welcome, Derpy.” She rubbed her chest. “Now… now I need to cast the magic that will set everything right.”

“Oh, that’s so wonderful!” Derpy said. She frowned. “But what about Golden Harvest and–”

“Don’t worry about them,” Twilight said. “They’ll all be friends with you.”

Derpy clapped her hooves. “That’s so nice!”

“But now I need you to help me,” Twilight said. “I need you to close your eyes, and think about Dinky and Amethyst Star. I’ll cast the spell that will collapse this pocket universe, and we’ll be back home.”

Derpy wasn’t sure what Twilight meant by that, even though she had heard the Doctor say stuff about alternate universes before. But if it meant she could have her daughters back, then it was all great. She shut her eyes tightly, and thought about Dinky. She’s just like me, her momma, Derpy thought. Nice and tough, but she's so much smarter.

Tears of happiness touched the edges of Derpy’s eyelids. Oh Amethyst Star, she thought. You won’t hate me anymore We’ll be so happy again.

Twilight touched her horn to Derpy’s forehead, and cast her spell.

A harsh and vile buzz, like a million angry flies released from some subterranean realm, echoed through the Everfree. Twilight backed away from Derpy, and watched as blood gushed from her ears and nose. Derpy collapsed, her rear left leg twitching. Blood gushed out of her mouth and pooled below her head.

Twilight carefully put a hoof on Derpy’s neck, and counted. After a minute, she was satisfied, and, with a flap of her wings, hopped over Derpy’s body. She trotted back to Ponyville.

Twilight Sparkle opened the door to Doctor Time Turner Hooves’s house, and walked in. His lab was lit by a buzzing electric bulb, an invention Doctor Hooves had been working on with a Minotaur scientist. It produced buzzing and juddering, and wasn’t quite ready for the market.

Twilight found the circuit breaker, and pulled the two-pole switch. An arc of blue electricity snapped into ozone, and the light eventually blinked out.

“Why, that must be Twilight Sparkle,” Doctor Hooves said, from deep within the bowels of his house. He walked out into the open, turning knobs to light the lanterns as he trotted toward his door to greet the princess. The lantern cast light and shadow across the laboratory, exposing and hiding in equal measure.

“You could use a little more light in here,” Twilight said, as she approached the middle of the lab. She glanced at Doctor Hooves’s failed experiment of using static electricity as a power source (though it could make a cool toy if it wasn't so power intensive), and a cheap method of wireless communication which sadly could only be cast several meters before dissipating. Despite being an engineer, there was still some biological curios and knickknacks scattered around, such as a petrified dragon egg, a phoenix skull (Twilight was curious about how that happened), and a bottle full of formaldehyde where two pony ovaries floated.

“There’s enough light to go to and from the door,” Doctor Hooves said. “Night time is for studying at the desk. Daytime is for inventing.”

“And sleep?”

“It will show up when it shows up,” the Doctor said.

Twilight walked past Doctor Hooves into the parlor, where candle light illuminated his chair and side table. Twilight glanced at the title of the book he was reading, lying flat on the seat of chair; Principia Scientifica.

Behind her, at the entrance, Doctor Hooves cleared his throat. “I heard about Derpy,” he said.

“That was fast,” Twilight said.

Doctor Hooves took slow steps into the parlor. “Amethyst Star came by and told me what happened, though it was mostly to wale on me for how the situation turned out.” He blew out both candles and walked past Twilight to his window, which showed a nice view of the green hills jutting into the purple, starry night. The full moon cast enough light into the parlor so they could see each other. “When she told me you had taken Derpy to Everfree Forest, I knew the outcome.”

Twilight sighed, moving her gaze away from the book, her eyes following the serpentine pattern on the rug. Almost mindlessly, she walked to the window. “I didn’t want to take her to a euthanasia center,” Twilight said. “I felt… I felt that I owed it to her. To let her go happy and hopeful.”

The Doctor sidled next to Twilight. “I loved her to.”

“Yes,” Twilight said. “I wish sterilization was enough, but the way she was acting…”

Doctor Hooves gently touched her hip. “You did the right thing. It was for the good of ponykind.”

“Thank you, Doc,” Twilight said.

“Well, we have all the info we need now, anyway,” Doctor Hooves said. “We can identify imbecility in the womb. Once you perfect your auto-termination spell, we need not worry about subponies like poor Derpy again.”

“I’ll need to write a letter to Celestia in the morning,” Twilight said. “We’ll need to increase eugenics funding. I'm sure she'll help me with the spell as well.”

“Fantastic,” Doctor Hooves said, clapping his hooves in glee. “Can you imagine it, Twilight? We need just to cull some bad branches, and imbecility will be removed from our gene pool in three generations.”

Twilight lifted her head. “It is fantastic,” Twilight said, facing the doctor. “Who would have thought Derpy could have helped us so much?”

“Here’s to Derpy, then, for showing us the way,” Doctor Hooves said, a note of irony in his voice.

“To Derpy,” Twilight said with a nod. They both turned toward the window, watching the night fall on Equestira, the night falling on old ways and old methods of thinking. Tomorrow the sun would shine brightly on an Equestria ready to take those first glorious steps into godhood. Despite how tired and oddly nauseated she felt, Twilight smiled. Yes, it would be a glorious future for ponykind.

In the Everfree Forest, full of ghostly crackles and occluded gurgles, a young diamond dog tightly gripped the neck of Derpy’s corpse as he drug her deeper into the woods. It was tiring work–he was still a juvenile, and not quite strong enough to easily carry a pony–but despite the soreness of his gripping arm and the sweat forming on his brow, he was happy. He knew his pack would eat well tonight.


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Comments ( 13 )

I want to read this but the tags are scaring me off.

It nothing to much, just read and keep calm.
And to the author, nice idea making them so much cold blooded.

you are disgusting

Why would you write this. This was just...Messed up why would twilight ever learn an auto termination spell you made derpy seem worst then she actually is...

Time for Heavy to lay egg in throat, puny man.

Welp. This THING is fucking atrocious. This is the most digusting thing I've read in a while. You are a horrible writer. The grammer and such isn't the issue. But you take the characters of them and COMPLETELY THROW THEM OUT THE WINDOW!

Why the fuck would Equestria have a euthanasia clinic!? Why the FUCK would they call someone they "Loved" a SUBPONY?!

this story is just horrid. Dark for the sake of dark.

Don't bother. It's not good at all. It's just making characters horrible and cruel for the shit of it.

They were pretty messed up in the head.I really wonder how they can be like that. This story was cool but didn't make sense to me. It would be amazing if u didn't kill derpy.:derpyderp2:

OK so who is Hitler? Eugenics, sorting out the bad auto termination? WTH. Wen did twilight become a sociopath?

6198514 But why would anyone do anything mean to derpy?

YOU KILLED DERPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:flutterrage:WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rainbowhuh:::derpyderp1:

Jesus Christ. You don't pull your punches, do you?

Wow there were a lot of oversensitive people back in 2015. I wonder if it would be the same response now. I think you conveyed the what if scenario here very well.

Maybe it should have an alt universe tag.

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